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The Girl Next Door
The Girl Next Door
Actors: William Atherton, Blanche Baker, Grant Show, Catherine Mary Stewart, Kevin Chamberlin
Director: Gregory Wilson
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
R     2007     1hr 31min

In a quiet suburban town in the summer of 1958, two recently orphaned sisters are placed in the care of their mentally unstable Aunt Ruth (Emmy® winner Blanche Baker of HOLOCAUST). But Ruth s depraved sense of discipline w...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: William Atherton, Blanche Baker, Grant Show, Catherine Mary Stewart, Kevin Chamberlin
Director: Gregory Wilson
Creators: William M. Miller, Ryan Shore, M.J. Fiore
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 12/04/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 31min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 15
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
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Member Movie Reviews

Jessica S. (jess83) from CHARLESTON, WV
Reviewed on 7/7/2012...
The Last House on The Left + Stand By Me...but the fact that it is based on a true story basically left me speechless!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
SHIRLEY A. (chelseamom) from INDIANAPOLIS, IN
Reviewed on 10/15/2009...
I wish that more of the real settings and dialogue was used. I think it was too fictionalized. I remember this story in the news and how it affected Indianapolis. Gertrude B. DID not suffer like Sylvia did. It was much more horriffic than the movie.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jasmine K. (jazztastic) from SCRANTON, PA
Reviewed on 3/16/2009...
Not for the easily disturbed. So much like the book, which made it all the more enjoyable. It's very difficult to watch because it is based on fact. I was intrigued, horrified, disgusted, yet couldn't look away. Very heartbreaking and sad, but an amazingly well done movie.
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Camille L. (StealthBunny) from FORT EDWARD, NY
Reviewed on 10/29/2008...
Movie was extremely close to the book, although the ending varied slightly. I would have liked to have seen the ending more exact, as it would have made Meg more of the heroic figure Ketchum had been striving for, and not as much of a victim. Still, I was impressed that it DID follow the book so closely, however I did feel that the book held more horror as it goes at a slower pace than this movie could have gone. These characters have haunted me ever since I read the book, and I have gone on to read about the people and events this was based on... and they still haunt me even more.
2 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

4 ½ stars: A Powerful and shocking look at the destruction o
Woopak | Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell | 01/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"THE GIRL NEXT DOOR is a film based on Jack Ketchum's novel, which is based on true events. I've seen a lot of horror films in my time, and I have to say that the scariest ones are always the ones that hit close to home. When you read the newspaper, watch the news, you sometimes see and hear things that are almost unbelievable that humanity can sink into such aberrations. This film borders around the line between exploitation and voyeurism, but believe me, "The Girl Next Door is a realistic, disturbing and genuine journey into one girl's personal hell.

Synopsis derived from the dvd back cover:
In a quiet suburban town in the summer of 1958, two recently orphaned sisters are placed in the care of their mentally unstable Aunt Ruth (Blanche Baker). But Ruth's depraved sense of will soon lead to unspeakable acts of abuse and torture that involve her three young sons, the neighborhood kids, and one 12-year old boy whose life will be changed forever.

People may say that some stories don't need to be told and I agree with them. "The Girl Next door" is arguably something that should have been left on the shelf. However, those who deny such stories also naively deny the twisted reality of life sometimes. This film is sort of a "coming of age" piece with a very dark, edgy premise that plays like a morality drama. In viewing this film, the viewer has to get pass the disturbingly graphic images to be able to appreciate its subtext, otherwise one will think that it is an exploitation flick with minors involved. Being based on a true story, the viewer has to keep in mind that this case did happen, and may POSSIBLY happen again somewhere.

The viewer has to pay special attention to the film's themes in order to understand why director Gregory Wilson opted to make this disturbing film. "The Girl Next door" is a tale of unfulfilled love, the moral responsibilities of adults, helplessness of children, and for people to be sensitive to what's going on. All these themes revolve around the film's main premise; abuse and the violence against women. The film is an emotion-driven film, no, it doesn't play on the graphic images and torture as much as the tiresome Eli Roth torture flicks. The film-makers knew what they were doing when they shot this film. They paid extra attention to the needed emotions inherent when one experiences such an ordeal. Meg, a pretty, innocent young girl is the victim. She loses all that she holds dear to humiliation, abuse and torture. Meg's sister is a victim of her own helplessness and fear. David is a young boy is sort of a victim also. He loses his innocence and up to his days as an adult, (as shown in the film's beginning and the climax) he still wishes that he could have done something to save Meg. David is a victim of his own conscience. Even Ruth's three boys are victims in their own way. They are victims of Ruth's twisted upbringing and philosophies on life and women. What is truly almost unbelievable is that the neighborhood kids are insensitive to Meg's plight, in fact, they seem to enjoy it. People may argue that some kids don't know what abuse is, thank goodness, my parents brought me up to be able to identify such things. Also, in this situation, "birds of the same feather flock together..."

The true instigator of the children's ordeal is Aunt Ruth; played by Blanche Baker. The actress makes an outstanding performance. Baker's portrayal as the main antagonist is realistic, disturbing and creepy in her own way. I've read somewhere before that the most dangerous psychopaths are those who think they are noble and serving a just cause. Such is the case with Aunt Ruth. Aunt Ruth preaches her mad, twisted indignation to her children (and to David) with convincing fervor that I couldn't blame them into buying into what she's saying. Another intense human horror is revealed: children do try to emulate their elders.

Now, I haven't read the novel and I'm pretty sure the book will have more answers. The film isn't perfect, some characters aren't fleshed out and "happy" people will no doubt have a lot of difficulty connecting to its story line. Also, David's parents are a bit one-dimensional and felt like they were minor plot devices to emphasize David's tortured conscience. The film however, does a lot more things right than wrong. I rather thought that it was very ingenious for the screenplay to show David as an adult haunted with his past nightmare, and how he has never forgotten his childhood friend; Meg. That up to this day, he wants to do something good to another being even at the price of his own life.

"The Girl Next Door" is not a film for everyone. Controversial and disturbing to its core, the film will no doubt offend a lot of viewers but if you look at the subtle messages instead of the graphic scenes, viewers will learn to appreciate what the film's premise is all about. This film is an unrelenting look at human horror that will stay with the viewer for a long time to come. Forget monsters, vampires, demons and werewolves, the scariest thing may just be occurring right next door...

Recommended timidly. The film is of such disturbing nature that only the most timid recommendation may be given. [4 ½ stars]

Hort Mortigan | 11/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Not knowing anything about the book I walked in to this expecting a fun and creepy horror film. What I got was easily one of the most unforgettable film experiences I've ever had. Gruesome and disturbing without ever being trashy. As a matter of fact, the most amazing thing about the film is how great the direction and performances are. The woman who plays Ruth creates one of the most frightening monsters in film history. Hats off to the rest of the cast and crew for making a film that's going to take me a while to shake off. I'm not gonna go into details of the story. All I'm saying is SEE IT. You won't be sorry you did."
Unforgettable and Painfully Powerful
Holly E. Wilson | 11/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I walked out of the theater numb and shaking. Very skillfully done, it was a horrifying look at severe child abuse with wonderful acting and full of tension. A third of the people in the theater where I saw this film at were crying or in tears as we left the building. Knowing it was based on a true story made it even more tragic. An emotional rollercoaster ride if you are brave enough to watch. You'll never forget it. Highly recommended."